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Live: A Tale of Keyboard Accessibility in Five Parts

taught by: Rob Carr

Session Summary

Let's break keyboard accessibility down into a handful of concepts that you can rely on to help keep you focused on keyboard-only interactions. We'll dig into each of the five in more detail as well to help you to design and create more accessible (custom and native) interactive elements.


Watch this presentation in the Knowbility Learning Center

In 11 or so years of accessibility work, I am fairly confident in stating that one of the areas that still poses a challenge on the web is keyboard accessibility. There are loads of navigation menus, links, and interactive elements that flat-out stink if you're trying to use them without a mouse or touchpad. Like any other accessibility barriers, though, we in the tech spaces of the world can do a lot to get the web out of the way!

Properly designed and structured HTML elements have tremendous support for keyboard accessibility. But the web is not built from properly designed and structured HTML elements alone! Whether you're a designer hammering out prototypes and mockups, or a developer working on complex, custom interactive elements, you have a need to make sure that you don't leave keyboard-only interactions by the wayside. And if you live in the testing and QA world, then it's important to know how to perform more comprehensive testing of those elements using only a keyboard.

This session will break keyboard accessibility down into five bite-sized concepts. Then it will examine each one in enough detail that everyone should leave with new insights. We'll discuss visual design as well as the how's, why's and where's of building more keyboard friendly interactions for the web. You'll also gain insight into some common interaction patterns and elements and the attributes that they need to be ready for keyboard use.

Course Materials

Practical Skills

  • Break down keyboard accessibility into five distinct concepts
  • Examine each of the five concepts and discuss at least 3 detailed points about each
  • Identify at least one method in each of the concepts to improve keyboard only interactions